Doggy guard duty

I get up from my nap groggy and annoyed. I had been up late the night before and was looking forward to catching up on my rest. Instead, Nittany, our beloved pet for the past 11 years, had other ideas. Nittany, a Lhasa Apso – Bichon Frise mix, spent ten minutes barking at what turned …

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When a bear came calling

I had been worried about the rain and now it was here, the sky had turned an angry black and was ready to let loose with great big buckets of water. We had spent the week camping and hiking in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I had seen the reports of rain and thunder …

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Down on the farm

When I was a young kid, my mother would occasionally pack up my brothers and I into the family car and cart us off for the hour to two hour drive to visit my grandparents or one of our aunts or uncles, who were Amish. My mother grew up Amish in rural Central Pennsylvania (think …

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Four things that make me happy

I grew up reading the news. My local newspaper was slight in size, but I started reading the paper from front to back at a relatively young age. I loved baseball and football, so I obviously made my way to the Sports Page, but I read the rest of the paper too. The topic didn’t …

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Who do you admire?

Every year since 1948, Gallup, the polling company, has asked Americans to name the man and woman that they admire the most. Surprisingly, I didn't show up anywhere on the most recent list! I'm nowhere to be found. Instead, former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump tied last year as the most admired …

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Take me home country roads

I can sense it coming. The feeling starts out like a distant ache. I’ll push it back to the back of my mind in the hopes that it will go away. My attempt to keep my focus to “the here and now” will work for a while, but the feeling will soon come back. This …

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A dog’s love: Welcome home

I’ve never won a Golden Globe Award given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an Emmy, an Academy Award or even a Pulitzer Prize for that matter. There's no Grammy Awards hanging on my fireplace mantle and I’ve never thrown three touchdown passes in an NFL game or won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award. …

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Expecto Patronum

Indigenous cultures occasionally focus on spirit animals who help guide and direct them during times of trouble. It’s not just the native cultures, but modern day fiction too. In J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World of Magic, Harry Potter’s Patronus charm takes the shape of a stag, just like his father. Wizards use the spell as protection in …

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Snoopy and Teddy: The best of friends

In a long running gag from the comic strip Peanuts, Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold a football for him to kick. Charlie Brown refuses to kick it at first, not trusting Lucy, not wanting to get burned again. The two go back and forth until she convinces him to trust her. Charlie Brown …

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